Page 361 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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granted here in our city. It is also about assisting them in the rebuilding of their communities and helping them to overcome the enormous challenges they will face in the coming years to return to their previous way of life. It is also a major opportunity to improve the standard of living for many of these nations, an opportunity for those nations more privileged to offer an improvement to the lives of some of the most populous nations on our planet. It is a prime opportunity that all nations should take.

I also pay tribute to a good friend of mine, Paul Flack, who I know is in Thailand at the moment assisting in the rebuilding of homes in the Phuket region. Like many other current and former Canberrans, he is assisting in any way he can. Canberrans have been incredibly generous in donating money, goods and services to the nations affected and much more will be needed over the following years. I hope that all Canberrans can find ways to contribute, however little, on an ongoing basis. We pay tribute to all nations touched by this tragedy, which, unfortunately, are too numerous to list. It would seem that just about every nation on earth has been affected by this event. To all people affected we express our sorrow and our support, and we pledge every assistance possible.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.

Death of Mr Adam Dunning

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its sympathies over the death of Protective Services Officer and Australian peacekeeper, Adam Dunning, and tenders its profound sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

Three days before Christmas, Canberra was shocked by the news that we had lost one of our own, when a hidden gunman prematurely ended the life of a talented young man while he was far from home. At the time of his death, Adam Dunning was serving as part of Australian peacekeeping operations in the Solomon Islands, helping one of our regional neighbours to achieve peace and stability. The fact he was on a mission to create peace makes this violent death much more difficult to accept. To Mr Dunning’s parents, Christine and Mike, to sisters Sarah and Emma and his partner, Elise Wiscombe, we offer our sincere condolences.

Mr Dunning attended Monash Primary School, the former Padua High School and Erindale College. He was a popular young man and attracted many friends, who continue to mourn his loss. He was a man of many talents, studying electrical engineering in Brisbane, and was a keen sportsman. Mr Dunning began his career in the military in 1995 when he joined the Royal Australian Air Force cadets. Three years later he was accepted into the Airfield Defence Guard and became a permanent member of the Royal Australian Air Force. His qualities as a natural leader shone through during his military training and these skills were further enhanced when he was posted to East Timor as part of Australia’s contribution to the United Nations mission. I understand Mr Dunning’s unit was amongst the first wave of deployments, and its primary duty was to secure Dili airport. In Mr Dunning’s valedictory, Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mr Mick Keelty, said:

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